Spending hours each week tracking assets in spreadsheets is a bad use of time. As tools develop over time, more MSPs are realizing that the days of employees slowly checking their equipment tracking spreadsheet to track a client’s laptop are over.
Automation is the new standard that the industry has been steadily adopting. Now more than ever, automating the asset tracking processes is becoming required if you want to elevate your business. But despite these advancements, many MSPs are still doing manual asset tracking with Excel.
It’s understandable that many MSPs may still feel that the potential risks of trusting a third party platform with asset tracking could lead to information being lost. However, MSPs who have adopted automation into their workflow say the benefit to their business has been immense.
One of the main pitfalls of manually tracking assets, whether they are computers, phones, servers, or backups, is accuracy and efficiency. Especially at larger scales, the task of tracking an asset, or double checking to make sure information is correct, can become daunting.
Scrolling through equipment tracking spreadsheets can be an overwhelming task for staff. With hundreds if not thousands of entries in these files, it can be too much for people to sift through, update, and reference in reports and other projects. It’s also easy for individual items to get lost in the shuffle, or fall off the list entirely.
Automating the IT asset tracking system has allowed MSPs to address all of those issues. Once logged and tracked, assets become easily searchable and usable in reports. MSPs can see when a server is out of warranty, or bring up a client’s laptop information if it breaks.
Automated asset tracking has also been a big benefit to backup monitoring, when MSPs need to make sure a backup hasn’t been missed, or if a server isn’t running backups at all.
Matt Moog, Senior Systems Engineer at the midwest-based MSP River Run, said that before implementing an automated backup monitoring solution, they had a person on staff checking a spreadsheet every day. This left them blind to non-functioning backups that didn’t show up as failures in the system.
By implementing automated monitoring, in this case with Backup Radar, River Run didn’t need to manually look through the backup error tickets and the theme could quickly address those issues as they come up.
Spend less time manually tracking assets and more time growing your business.
One of the most consistently reported frustrations in the MSP space is how long manual tasks can take. Tasks like manually tracking down warranty information of servers or backup status, are often seen as busywork since they just require recalling information rather than acting on it for the benefit of the client or MSP.
If a staff member has to spend upwards of an hour every day, or every few days, on this type of work, that can lead to a shocking amount of time your MSP misses out on to drive value further. By automating that task, staff don’t need to spend hours each week struggling to parse information in an asset tracker spreadsheet. They can sort and filter their way through data to get exactly what they need to better serve their clients.
At River Run, Moog said automating their backup monitoring process helped their team save up to eight hours every week over manual backup tracking.
“We had people spending about eight hours a week checking backups and obviously that’s been reduced to nothing,” he said. “[Now] they can actually do their jobs instead of checking backups. Because it was the technical service leaders on the team or it was our automation guy who would do that. I’d rather the automation guy be figuring out how to automate things than manually reviewing backups every day.”
Manual processes that require so much from the MSP can often create a barrier between your MSP and the client, limiting how much an MSP can accomplish.
Higher quality asset management and hours of staff time saved allows MSPs to spend more time on engaging with their clients to help address issues, review new projects, and plan for the future.
Even putting together reports for clients as preparation for review meetings can be drastically improved through automation. Being able to find the information at the touch of a button rather than having to search through equipment tracking spreadsheets to find the right details can improve the entire meeting. Automated reporting allows your MSP to focus on what you want to talk about and why, without having to worry about collecting the right data, or trusting that you didn’t miss something.
For Ann Westerheim, Founder and President of Ekaru, said that automated services freeing up their staff time has allowed the team to engage with clients at a deeper level through review meetings. With automated asset management, the preparation for those meetings is more efficient, which leads to better conversation.
“We’ve probably translated into being able to do more review meetings because we can save time and we can prep more efficiently. We can do them more often, and we’re constantly trying to work on our processes to make sure we’re covering everything the client thinks we’re covering,” she said.
“We’re catching some of the digital risk of systems that are gonna fail and trying to be more proactive. I think we probably translated our time savings into being or doing more of them, which ultimately helps the customers. If we can do them more often, things just don’t go out of kilter.”
As the MSP industry progresses, MSPs need the tools to keep up. Go beyond the manual spreadsheets and start looking at how automation can improve your workflow.
For businesses like River Run and Ekaru, ScalePad’s Backup Radar and Lifecycle Manager are the automated asset management platforms that allow their teams to drive value to their clients. With fully automated asset tracking and reporting functionality, among a suite of powerful features, MSPs know that they can trust ScalePad to deliver the best-in-class automated services to allow MSPs to improve their workflow.
Find out how MSPs are using ScalePad to grow their business and client relationships. Get started with Lifecycle Manager by booking a demo or start with the free edition today. Interested in Backup Radar? Book a personalized demo now and tailor a package to suit your needs.